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Frequently Asked Questions about Genetic Consultation and Testing

Do you have questions about our services, genetic testing, and genetic consultations? Here are answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.

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What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing, sometimes called genomic testing, finds changes in the genetic material that can cause health problems. It’s mainly used to diagnose rare and inherited health conditions and some cancers.

Why would I be offered a genetic test?

You may be offered a genetic test because:

  • your doctor thinks you or your child might have a health condition caused by a change in the genetic material involving one or more genes
  • someone in your family has a health condition that’s caused by changes in the genetic material
  • some of your close relatives have had a particular type of cancer that could be inherited
  • you or your partner have a health condition that could be passed on to your children

If you have any questions, talk to us about having a genetic test.

What a genetic test can tell me

A genetic test can:

  • help diagnose a rare health condition in a child
  • help you understand whether an inherited health condition may affect you, your child or another family member, and help you decide whether to have children
  • show if you are at higher risk of getting certain health conditions, including some types of cancer
  • guide doctors in deciding what medicine or treatment to give you and individualise therapy options.

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What are your fees for a genetic consultation?

We have made it our goal to offer you an appointment as promptly as possible in order to answer your questions as quickly as possible. We acknowledge that each case is unique and requires an individualised approach. To prepare for an appointment, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and provide as much information as possible, including your family and medical history, as well as previous clinical reports and genetic reports, if available.

Depending on the complexity of the issue, the questions asked, the circumstances, and the setting, an initial appointment may take one or two hours and cost £190 to £380, which usually includes the consultation and a summary or medical genetics report for you and the referring or managing specialist. Not included are any fees regarding genetic tests, which might be recommended during the consultation.

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What are the costs of genetic testing?

Each case is unique and requires an individualised approach. Costs for genetic testing vary and depend on the information provided, the outcome of the consultation, and the kind of genetic test(s) recommended.

Personalised advice will be provided during the initial genetic consultation so that you can make an informed choice about testing.

The below table outlines the approximate costs of frequently demanded genetic tests.

Genetic TestCost*
Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) 
Trio Whole Exome Sequencing [Trio-WES]~ £1,950
Whole Exome Sequencing [Singleton]~ £1,100
 Neurofibromatosis and related disorders Panel (9 genes)  ~ £675
Fragile X Syndrome~ £250
Comprehensive Metabolism Panel (505 genes)  ~ £990
Comprehensive Reproductive Screening Panel (105 genes)  ~ £595
Hereditary Breast Cancer High Risk Panel (8 genes)  ~ £675
Hereditary Breast & Gynaecological Cancer Panel (28 genes)  ~ £990
Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Panel (23 genes)  ~ £675
Comprehensive Hereditary Cancer Panel (160 genes)  ~ £1,100
*All prices shown are subject to change. They usually include logistics and shipping.

The turnout time for genetic tests is variable and would depend on the kind of test recommended. Usually, they can take up to 4 to 6 weeks (or up to 12 weeks for more complex tests) and can be, in exceptional circumstances, longer depending on the individual case.

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Can I not just have the genetic test without a consultation?

This question is not uncommon, but it does highlight a misunderstanding about the complexities of genetic testing. As healthcare professionals, it is our responsibility to our patients to ensure that we are ordering appropriate genetic testing. A review of your personal and family medical histories will allow us to counsel you about genetic testing options that are applicable to you. 

We are legally required to obtain your informed consent for all genetic testing. To be informed, you should understand the benefits, limitations, and implications of genetic testing, all of which will be discussed during a pre-test genetic consultation.

​Genetic outcomes are not necessarily yes or no. They can be complicated. In order to incorporate the results of genetic testing into a patient’s healthcare plan, a genetic consultation seeks to support the patient throughout the process and make sure that the results are interpreted in light of the patient’s personal and family history.

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Does insurance cover the costs?

In many cases, health insurance plans will not only cover the costs of genetic consultations but may cover the costs of genetic testing when it is recommended by a specialised doctor or a clinical geneticist. However, health insurance providers have different policies about which tests are covered. Therefore, we will provide you with a cost estimate for any recommended genetic testing after the consultation and encourage you to get a pre-authorization from your health insurance provider prior testing.

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I already had a cancer diagnosis. What can genetic consultation and genetic testing do for me now?

If you have a cancer diagnosis, we will ask you about any close blood relatives who have had cancer as well. We will assess if your cancer is linked to an inherited cancer gene or if there is a chance that cancer runs in your family by using the information about your family.

Affected individuals with a cancer syndrome may have an increased risk of developing other tumours, such as contralateral breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, or uterine cancer. Likewise, relatives of an affected person may have an increased risk of developing a tumour.

Depending on the type of cancer and your level of risk, we may give you and your doctor information about treatment options and screening advice tailored to your individual situation.

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What if I have concerns about privacy, the confidentiality of my genetic consultation and testing records and the risk of genetic discrimination?

Insurers will always treat applicants fairly. They will not require or pressure any applicant to undergo a predictive or diagnostic genetic test in order to obtain insurance. Please see the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance for more information. This code, put together by the government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on behalf of its members, describes a mutual understanding on the use of genetic testing in insurance.

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What if I have a complaint?

Dr. Schell-Apacik strives to provide the best possible service for his patients. However, he recognises that sometimes you may feel that he has not met your needs. Should you have any complaints or concerns regarding the service you have received, you have the right to ask for clarification. Dr. Schell-Apacik operates an in-house complaints procedure to deal with your complaint.

Please see the Patient Complaint Information Leaflet for more information.

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What is your safeguarding protocol?

Safeguarding is at the heart of what we do. Schell Genetics and Dr. Schell-Apacik are responsible for ensuring that the safeguarding principles and duties are consistently and conscientiously applied, with the well-being of adults and children at the centre of everything we do.

Please see the Safeguarding Policy for more information.

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Do you have any further questions about our genetic services? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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